Sunday, January 24, 2010

Engaging Believers

I'm still reeling from a really observant point made by someone at a leadership team meeting of a regional men's ministry. He said "The traditional definition of insanity is doing the same things expecting different results. But I think the opposite is true, too; we plan new outreach and ministries but don't expect a different outcome from what we see now. If the Spirit is moving, we'll see men rise above their nature or psychology."

That's the #1 struggle I have with my Christian life: if I care about the things I profess, why don't I see an intrinsic (not of self, but of Spirit) motivation unstoppably bubbling up inside of me?

The standard response of "in your natural state you'd be [insert bad thing here] and the fact you're not there is thanks to God's power" might be true... Or it might not, and the answer is certainly too easy and "pat" to give any real satisfaction or direction.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Describing the coming Messiah

I was reading John Crotts' book Craftsmen this morning and in chapter 3 he's discussing the wisdom of Jesus as outlined in the book of Isaiah, which describes the coming Messiah.  In Isaiah 11:4 we read:

but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.

So far, so good.  Very wise.  Good standard.  But then Isaiah goes on to the second half of verse 4:

He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

Knowing what we do about Jesus and His life... this doesn't seem to describe Him.  From our New Testament theology we know that His future work will include this kind of judgment... but other than the famous "turning over the tables in the temple" incident, Jesus really didn't do the striking and slaying thing.

I have to admit, if I witnessed my "messiah" being beaten to a pulp and dragged into an electric chair or gas chamber by the foreign government that occupied my country, and if I knew anything about the book of Isaiah, I'd think that these things don't really line up.  Do they?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm still here...

...But juggling four theological books right now so I have no coherent thoughts to share. Thanks for checking, and stay tuned...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I was just looking at a friend's theologically-themed blog and thought of chiding him for not posting since December 17... and then I realized it's been awhile since I've posted here.

I don't have any dramatic resolutions for 2010 -- maybe I should, but I've never been much of a "resolution" person.  The Christian buzz-word is to make sure you have a "daily quiet time" and I've never been good at that... but "resolving" to do it isn't going to get me any closer to the goal.  I'm hoping to tweak the structure of my life in a few other areas (regular podcasting because it's somthing I love to do, better preparation for my bi-weekly Bible study, less clutter around the house/garage/den) and maybe "quality time with God" will bubble up from that.

Is that lame, or is it realistic and prudent?